Magic Johnson Says Lakers 'Don't Like When I Tell the Truth'

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2014

FILE- In a July 21, 2011 file photo, Hall-of-Fame basketball player turned businessman Earvin
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Magic Johnson didn't take any direct shots at the Los Angeles Lakers when he was a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, but he managed to lob a subtle dig nonetheless.

Shocking, right?

Per Mark Medina of The LA Daily News, Johnson said, "They don’t like when I tell the truth. It’s been a tough year.”

That response was a reference to Johnson's Twitter pledge to lay off his former team:

Recently, the media mogul—who once owned a stake in the franchise—had been critical of the Lakers, taking aim at everything from their porous interior defense to their hiring of Mike D'Antoni.

Johnson also buried owner Jim Buss, via Mike James of the Los Angeles Times:

This is what happens when you make the wrong decisions, two coaching wrong decisions, giving Steve Nash that deal, it’s backfired. The biggest problem they’re going to have right now … you’ve got to get a guy like Jerry West to be the face of the team. ...

You’ve got to have someone helping Jim. He’s got to quit trying to prove a point to everybody that he can do it on his own, get his ego out of it, and just say, ‘Let me get someone beside me to help achieve the goals I want.'

Those shots drew the attention of critics everywhere, including B/R's Kevin Ding:

His uneducated, shallow, fleeting assessments indicate he's a bandwagon guy who mainly wants to make clear, in a trap a lot of older people tend to fall into, that the past was better. Jerry Buss was his benefactor, Jerry West was great, blah blah blah.

Here's the problem, though: Magic's "truth" keeps changing.

It wasn't so long ago that he praised D'Antoni's coaching:

And we can't forget the way Johnson was once so enamored with Buss' moves. Remember, Magic said the following to Buss after Dwight Howard arrived in LA, per T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times:

I love it. Jim, you look like your father; I’m proud of you. He’s definitely the guy now to win the NBA executive-of-the-year award. My compliments to Jim and Mitch Kupchak; they had the knowledge and fortitude to hang in there and get it done. They now deserve a great vacation and the appreciation of Laker fans, and really, basketball fans everywhere.

By now, we've all become accustomed to Johnson's fascination with the obvious. His Twitter account reads like a seventh-grader's diary. He offers up only the most vanilla observations from his daily life and generally punctuates his insubstantial statements with exclamation points.

Trenchant stuff, Magic.

In that sense, Johnson always tells the truth. It's hard to lie when all you're doing is regurgitating what you're seeing or hearing.

Magic's truth is fluid. It changes without regard to what he believed was true weeks or months ago. It's too bad he seems so unaware of how silly that makes him look.